8. Line Between Fantasy and Reality
"Elrond is holding a council."
I listened distractedly to Justin as I gazed out the window, replaying my last conversation with Elladan repeatedly in my head. Probably not the most productive use of my time, I admitted, but far more interesting than hearing my husband recount the events taking place around us as if I had no idea what was happening.
Or what was going to happen, for that matter.
He had stopped speaking, which meant he was waiting for a response from me. Without drawing my gaze from the gardens, I nodded my head.
"Mm hmm. I know." I ran my hands up and down the length of my arms, trying to recreate the feel of other hands. His hands.
"I have been asked to attend."
Now he had my full attention. "You have been what?" I crossed the distance between us. "Do you know what this council is about?"
He gave me a look as if that were the most absurd question I could have possibly asked. Maybe it was, but in my defense, he did tell the sons of Elrond he was Fëanor, so we were not doing well on the Middle-Earth history stuff so far. "Yes, I know what the council is about. It's about the Fellowship."
I took a deep breath. "Not exactly…"
"Yes it's about the Fellowship. It's about Elrond forming the Fellowship and deciding what to do with the Ring. It's when Frodo says he'll take it."
"Yes…" I hesitated. My mind was reeling with the great and terrible possibilities. I was pretty sure there was no mention of a man with a strange name in the Council of Elrond; one who had appeared mysteriously on the borders of Rivendell with his Quenya-named wife who spoke just enough Elvish to get her into trouble.
"You didn't think I'd know, did you?" He was obviously pleased with himself. I guess he should be. That was the first bit of Middle-Earth fact he had gotten right.
"Well…" I tried to soften the blow. "You're not exactly well-versed on the history of this place."
He shrugged, undaunted by my appraisal of his knowledge. "Obviously Elrond thinks I'm well-versed enough to attend his council, despite the opinions of his psycho son."
His son… I thought back to our last encounter. He was anything but psycho then. Actually, he was rather… I shook my head to knock my thoughts off the path they were taking.
"And according to Elrond, Legolas vouched for me as well."
I was hurt. "Legolas? Vouched for you?" I felt the evil green monster nipping at my heels. "But I'm the one who wanted to come here. I'm the one who knows all the history and legend of this place."
"I know. And at least I can come back and tell you what happens, rather than you not finding out, right?" He was trying to soothe me, and it was not working.
"I don't want to know what happens." I felt tears sting my eyes and before he could see them, I stormed out of the room, calling back over my shoulder, "Have fun at your stupid council."
For anybody who just called me immature, shut up. I'm not immature; you are. No, you are…no givesies backsies.
Ok, fine. When I'm in a strange land, surrounded by strange folk, and having impure thoughts about someone who is not my husband, who is not even human for that matter, I reserve the right to express a little immaturity.
So my immature self ran through the gardens, working up a scenario as I went.
I would run and run until I fell down, sobbing into the ground, my tears turning my eyes a brilliant shade of green. My hair would be blowing in the breeze, the sun reflecting off it bringing out my highlights and making it gleam a brilliant copper color. I would hear footsteps approach and look up, coming eye to eye with the elder of the two sons of Elrond. I would look away, not wanting him to see the tears in my eyes. He would walk over and gently help me to my feet.
"What is the matter, fair maiden?" he would ask softly while stroking a stray lock of my hair away from my face.
At that moment, Legolas would approach my other side, slipping an arm easily around my waist and smiling at me. Both elves would be totally ok with this arrangement.
"Do not cry, my love," Legolas would whisper as he trailed kisses along my cheek. "We shall erase all vestiges of your pain."
There I would remain, basking in the warmth of their love and attention, until Justin found us. He would smile, give us his blessing and say, "do what you will with them, but know that you come home to me."
It would be a beautiful thing.
As reality would have it, none of this came to pass. I did run until I threw myself against the ground, but I managed to gorge my hand on a sharp rock on the way down. An elf did find me there, but it was Glorfindel, who acted very wary towards me as he helped me up and bandaged my hand. He said naught to me but his message from Lord Elrond; that I was to seek him out in his study and if I needed escort, Glorfindel would show me the way.
I could tell Glorfindel was uneasy in my presence, so I set out to find Elrond's study on my own. I had been there before, and I have a pretty good sense of direction. As I wandered through the gardens, I wondered why it was that even in this fantasy land the scenes I came up with in my head were still so much better than the actual reality happening around me.
I found Elrond's study. I will not get into how long it took me or how many quarters I was going to owe the swear jar, but I found it. Suffice it to say, the sun was preparing herself for yet another brilliant end-of-day display as I waited on the terrace.
I was not alone for long.
I knew it was Elladan as he approached. I could not explain how I knew it was him and not his brother, but I did. I smiled hesitantly, remembering his parting words to me.
"You have indeed been watching me, if you knew to find me here."
"I did not come for you." His voice was flat, expressionless. "I must speak with my father before departing."
His last word stung me unexpectedly. "Departing?" Disappointment coursed through me. "But why? When?"
He gave me an inscrutable look and turned to face the brilliant red and gold of the sunset. "Think you I do naught but lose my temper and chase after edain women who are too cheeky for their own good?" I saw him smile even though he didn't look my way.
"Well," I began, "you never know."
His smile spread across his face and for some reason that made me feel very warm inside. I had the overwhelming urge to touch him until I really looked at him standing there, hands on the railing, back straight as one of Legolas's arrows, chin tilted up towards the sky, dark hair blowing behind him, aglow with all the colors of the sunset, which were also, I noticed, reflected in his eyes. He looked truly magnificent, in the way an ancient tree or a mountain or the ocean looks magnificent.
But there's something different about him. I heard Justin's words in my head and realized that although they had been spoken about Legolas, they held true for Elladan as well, for all the elves.
"Thank you," I whispered to him, my voice full of the awe I was feeling.
Suddenly the majesty was gone and he was glaring at me once again. "What?"
I didn't have a chance to answer because the door to Elrond's study was thrown open and I was beckoned inside. I sat down opposite the Lord of Imladris and heard words that I had not expected, but brought joy to my heart nonetheless.
"Arandil, I am holding a Council the day after next and I wish for you to attend."
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.